Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sometimes I hesitate to say thank you online because I am afraid I will leave someone out.  But today I am making a go at saying thanks to some people who have been indispensable the last 2 weeks; if I leave someone out, forgive me.  I am sure I will remember it in the middle of the night and not be able to sleep until I add you.

Terri Garver and her husband Andy have been able to raise funds for airline tickets as well as get us sponsors to all sorts of events.  Plus, Terri is willing to be my friend even though I boss her around.  At least she lets me think that I do that; I am not so sure.

Staci Hennesy has been managing the kitchen like a pro.  I had no idea beforehand she was going to be able to help us.  I don't know what I thought I was going to do without her.

Last night as I watched Rebekah Mote massage Vita's feet (Vita is the guardian), I was like "Thank you, God, for this servant's heart."  From massages to cleaning up the kitchen to bringing in fruit, she is a true blessing.

The first morning the kids were here, Michele Isbell drove 2 hours from Auburn to bring them borsch and then immediately drove 2 hours back because she had a prior commitment.  She has done that several times; once to loan me her 12- passenger van.

Micki Ray has been remodeling her kitchen for 8 months I think.  She signed up for multiple meals the first few days the kids were here, even before she had an oven installed.  We ate for at least a week because of her.

Marilyn Speakman.  Well, I have to stop now because I have to go shoo wet kids out of the house; but lets just say I am thankful for everyone who has given, who has visited, who has prayed.  I will tell yall about Marilyn at a later date.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thoughts on our time at the beach

The kids have enjoyed their time on the beach.  We are so grateful to the Kilpatricks for this time.  Just some random thoughts:
This is Katelyn Brock's last weekend with us.  She leaves for Ecuador on Tuesday to spend the rest of the summer with her family.  She has been a blessing and we will miss her.
Jenn and Mark Smith are a blessing and have done a remarkable job with their 4 Ukrainian children, all adopted at an older age.  They each have a servant's heart and poured love on the kids this weekend.  Taryn Kilpatrick asked a "random" worker at Walmart for a discount if any of the kids went slightly over their allotted gift card amount.  She said no; then showed up at Taryn's side and paid in full for one of the kids' purchases because her dad was from Ukraine and she wanted to give back.  Perfect timing as we discuss God's sovereignty and personal interaction in the lives of man.  Thank you, Alex.
Children are way pickier at shopping when its their own money.  We were in Walmart for 2 grueling hours.  Only 4 of them spend their full amount. The rest will go again in Birmingham.
While it is true that not all Christians are called to adopt, they are all called to visit.  Was reminded of that this weekend.  I was also reminded that those who are called to adopt, will be provided for financially by the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 
The kids miss "home".  The one in Birmingham.  Bittersweet.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

why bad things happen

Tonight Yura was in the kitchen asking for his nightly bowl of cereal.  We were talking and I asked him about his siblings?  How many do you have?  One brother.  How old is he?  16?  Is he still in school.  No.  He is in jail.  I was not expecting that.  I didn't know what to say.  He started to tear up.  I told him Roman brother had also been in jail and that I was sorry.  He quickly changed the subject.  We had just talked during "sabrainya" about why bad things happen.  That God is good and He loves us but when sin entered the world, bad things began to happen and they still happen to us.  I prayed for them that God would bring comfort to them when bad things happen.  But I don't want bad things to happen to them anymore.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Theology 101

Every night we have a "sabrainya" or gathering before bed.  We talk about our day; our tomorrow and we talk about God.  We have made it through the third chapter of Genesis with some diversions along the way.  It is a luxury to have a month to share the gospel as it appears from Genesis to Revelation.  Tonight we talked about Adam and Eve's sin. Many of the children have never heard how God created the world; or how man sinned against their maker.  Sweet little Yura was hanging on every word, waiting to hear how Eve responded to the lies of the serpent.  Pray for these young hearts, that God would reveal himself to them in a most powerful way; and they would be able to go back to Ukraine recipients of His grace. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Graduating from the orphanage

Kids go through the 9th grade in the typical Ukrainian orphanage; then they go on to a trade school for the 10th and 11th grade.  The supervision there is not the same as in the orphanage.  Yes, they get fed and have a roof over their head and even get a small stipend from the government.  But they have a lot of hard choices to make when sex, drugs, alcohol and crime are but a breath away.  Many graduates do not stay in school; many give in to the various temptations.  But can we blame them?   Even a well-parented 16 year old would have a hard time being thrust out on his own.  Or what about a well-parented 15 year old?  Or 14 year old?  Could your 13 year old make good choices if left to his own devices?  One of my Ukrainian sons would have graduated from the orphanage at 13 due to being moved up several grades in school.  I thought this was unusual.  But at least 3 of our hosted kids will graduate next year, two at age 14 and one at age 13.  They are much too young for the "freedom" of a trade school.  And it bothers me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Joseph Innocent

I am judgmental.  I didn't realize it but I am.  Or was.  Now, I am just humbled.  My daughter, Vicka, has been attending Alabama Driving School.  Her instructor is from India.  He works a full time job during the week, then teaches driving all day Saturday and Sunday.  He charges $50 an hour and teaches in 2 hour blocks.  I have remarked that he is living the American dream.  Today, when I paid him, he started telling me about an organization that he supports in India.  My first thought was "he is about to ask me for money".  The organization is called Sunmary Trust.  It was established in honor of his sister and brother-in-law who were killed in an automobile accident in 2004.  The trust cares for lepers, destitute women, and, need I say more, orphans.  As he handed my $100 back to me, Joseph Innocent said, "I do this so I can give back to orphans in India.  I give 80% of what I earn on the weekends to the Sunmary Trust.  I keep 20% for gas and car maintenance.  Vicka told me about what you are doing next week with orphans.  You are already doing what I am doing, so you do not need to pay me." He was not asking for money, he was giving it.   Joseph Innocent is not living the American dream.  He is living a radical life and he has inspired and encouraged me more than he will ever know.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It is God Himself who supports the fatherless

This morning as I was praying for the children, I "randomly" chose Psalm 146 to read.  I was reminded that it is the Lord who opens blind eyes.  It is the Lord who raises up those who are bowed down.  The Lord protects the strangers.  The Lord supports the fatherless and the widow.  God does all.  Is all.  Will be all.  What a joy to rest in his sovereign control of which children are coming; of what individuals, families, and churches will minister to them; of whose eyes will be opened.  My work is easy.  I get to love and spend time with precious kids and awesome fellow believers while God Himself supports the fatherless.  

Friday, June 8, 2012


While the kids are here I will try to update here on the blog as well as on facebook.  I will use these to keep you up to date on changes in plans, needs, prayer requests, etc.  If you need more general information, please go to our website,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Final week of preparations

Tonight I am in Nashville with my oldest daughter.  She has freshman orientation at Belmont University.  We will get home Friday night.  On Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 we will have a work day at our home for last minute preparations as well as to go over volunteer guidelines.  Sunday I am determined to rest! I am so looking forward to meeting all the kids on Monday night.  Then I am sure it will be a whirlwind of a week.  If you  have not already done so, please contact us about how you can get involed.  You will be blessed!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Royalty Part 2

The quote from Eric Ludy that I shared on May 17th has really stuck with me.  Granted, Jesus did not literally say "treat the weak ones as royalty"  but he did say "as you have done unto the least of these you have done unto me".  And who is more royal than King Jesus?  So my attitude toward my preparations has changed in the last few weeks.  Rather than preparing for orphans to come visit, I have been preparing for royalty.  I pray that this attitude can invade all areas of my life and my dealings with all people.   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Alona P.


God has brought so many people into my world through our preparations for hosting.  So many godly, loving, hard-working, awesome people.  The boundaries of my world have expanded!  Its amazing to see God doing it all.  I am going to make a confession.  Having already adopted 4 times and living amongst many other adoptive families; having experienced the struggles, the frustrations, but also the victories that come through ministry to the fatherless, I am inclined to go through the motions at times.  I care for the fatherless because the word of God demands it and sometimes it tires me out rather than excite me.  But what a joy it has been to have people come alongside me whose flame still burns bright; who are passionate about ministry to the fatherless and who encourage and exhort me by their attitude.   I am so thankful that God has seen fit to send His children from near and far to provide for these 10 precious Ukrainian children in unimaginable ways.  I am so excited that they will soon be here and that they will be welcomed by a bus load of people who, like me, have been counting down the days.  I can truly say to God be the glory for all that He has done in orchestrating this ministry.